Had a few parents ask for a copy, so I thought I'd post it here:
God of new beginnings,
Thank you for new life. Thank you for the class of 2016 here at Birmingham-Southern College. I truly believe that through your grace and mercy these students will become the leaders that our families, our nation, and our world need more than ever.
But they can’t do it alone. Be with us. They’ve come here to BSC to enrich their lives and will discover a host of staff, faculty, and loved ones who will encourage this class every step of the way. Be with our faculty - that they may awaken us to the beauty and complexities of this world. Be with our staff - that they may awaken us to the potential we share as a community and individuals. Be with our parents, grandparents, and loved ones - that their love (though perhaps even at a distance) will ground us in our sense of who we are.
Be with these students. I’m so tired of the divisions that humanity has been quick to establish - whether they are racial, political, financial, or religious. May the labels we carry with us fall as we embrace the community here at Birmingham-Southern. Instead of just learning new labels, may we live into the fantastic challenge of being a family here at BSC.
Since we can’t do it alone, bring us together. Help us to flee from division and find the sacred worth in every individual we are blessed to know. There will be challenges. There will be joys. And through your steadfast love, may we grow through all these moments to a greater understanding of our world, ourselves, and our part in the life of this school.
This day, and every day after, may you give us a hunger for knowledge, faith, and love - so we can hope in this year and all it will bring.
Lead us forward ever, Amen.